SYRACUSE, NY (AP)Elijah Hughes scored 18 points to lead a quintet of Syracuse players in double figures, and the Orange took control with an 11-0 spurt in the second half to defeat North Florida 82-70 Saturday.
Marek Dolezaj had 17 points and eight assists, and Buddy Boeheim chipped in with 16 points for Syracuse (7-5, 1-1 ACC). Joe Girard III had 14 points and six assists and Quincy Guerrier had 10 points and seven rebounds in just 14 minutes as the Orange withstood North Florida’s barrage from beyond the arc. North Florida (7-7), which led the country with 162 made 3-pointers before the game, hit 17 of 46 from beyond the arc. The Ospreys have now made 10 or more 3s in 12 games this season. The 3-point attempts were the most ever against the Orange.
J.T. Escobar led North Florida with 19 points, 16 coming in the first half when he hit 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. Carter Hendricksen added 17 points, all in the second half. Ivan Gandia-Rosa and Garrett Sams each had 11.
The game was tied at 54 when the Orange went on an 11-0 run in a span of three minutes capped off with a finger roll by Hughes with 9:06 to go that gave Syracuse a 65-54 lead.
Syracuse shot 46% from the field for the game and 10 of 26 from 3. North Florida was 22 of 55. The Orange capitalized on North Florida’s 12 turnovers, scoring 18 points off the Ospreys’ miscues. Syracuse dominated in the paint, outscoring the Ospreys 30-10 inside.
North Florida: The Ospreys put up a valiant effort and their 3-point shooting will keep them in many games.
Syracuse: Quincy Guerrier had his best game for the Orange and could be a big key in ACC play.
The Ospreys have nine days off before their fifth game of a seven-game road swing at No. 13 Dayton on Dec. 30.
The Orange have a week off before hosting Niagara Saturday. The Purple Eagles first-year coach Greg Paulus quarterbacked the Orange for a year after transferring from Duke.